“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” is one of the most famous quotes about Santa Claus. Like many people, I heard the quote but had no idea where it came from. Apparently it’s from an editorial from the September 21, 1897, edition of the New York Sun answering a letter called “Is There a Santa Claus” from a girl named Virginia O’Hanlon. The only way I was able to read this editorial was from a book called A Christmas Treasury of Yuletide Stories and Poems.
I came upon this book when I decided to attend my local church’s bazaar a few years back and they were selling it for a dollar. I bought it and completely forgot about it up until a week ago (yes, I DO have that many books that I forget what I have.) It’s also worth noting that this book is out of print. Don’t worry, you can still buy this on Amazon for 12¢.
After perusing this book, there are quite a few nifty poems and stories pertaining to Christmas. Like I said, it has Virginia’s letter in it so that’s pretty cool. This book also has The Gift of the Magi and Christmas Every Day. These are stories that have become essential reading for Christmas reading. There’s also the songs Three Kings of Orient (you know, “we three kings of Orient are, bearing gifts we traverse afar”) and Silent night, Holy Night.
One of the strangest inclusions is A Christmas Carol in Prose by Charles Dickens. I thought it was a different story/poem, but it was actually A Christmas Carol in it entirety. Yes, this book has A Christmas Carol along with other stories and poems. That right there is well worth the price.
There are also stories/poems by William Shakespeare, L. Frank Baum (yes, that L Frank Baum,) Hans Christian Anderson, Washington Irving, Nathanial Hawthorne (yup,) Oscar Wilde, Leo Tolstoy and T.S Eliot.
It’s a pity that this book is out of print. There really should be a revised version of it because there is a lot of great stuff in here. Get it from the library, buy it on Amazon or if you can find it in your local bookstore (please do. Small bookstores tend to be awesome) get it. There’s a ton of stuff here for the literary minded and those who want to read good Christmas writing.